Diversity and distribution of ciliated protozoans on the mangrove leaf litters of Rhizophora apiculata
Keywords:Ciliates, Leaf litter, Peritricha, Spirotrichea
The diversity and distribution of ciliated protozoans on the mangrove leaf litters of Rhizophora apiculata with physicochemical parameters were studied for one year (June 2014 - May 2015) from ten selected stations of the Ayiramthengu mangrove ecosystem in Kerala, India. Taxonomic studies recorded 115 species of ciliates, belonging to 16 subclasses among them Peritricha represents the subclass having the maximum species number and abundance followed by Suctoria. Vorticella companula Ehrenberg, 1831 records the maximum abundance and dominance index followed by Euplotes minuta. Multivariate statistical analysis and analysis of variance revealed seasonal difference in the distribution of mangrove ciliates, where the highest number of species were distributed in post-monsoon and minimum in pre-monsoon. Canonical correspondence analysis explains the importance of dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, salinity, sulphate, phosphate and nitrate in the distribution and abundance of ciliates protozoans. The study highlights the seasonal difference in the distribution, diversity and abundance of ciliated protozoans on the mangrove leaf litters of Rhizophora apiculata in the Ayiramthengu mangrove ecosystem, Kerala, India.
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